French luxury group PPR posts strong 2012 profit

French luxury and retail group PPR on Thursday said net profit in 2012 was up 6.3 percent from a year earlier to 1.05 billion euros ($1.4 billion) on solid growth in its luxury business.

The results did not include its struggling Fnac and Redcat retail businesses, largely based in France, which PPR is in the process of spinning off. Those units together posted a loss of 276 million euros.

"PPR's results for 2012 are excellent, thanks to the exceptional performances of all brands in our Luxury Division," said Fran├žois-Henri Pinault, PPR chairman and chief executive.

"In 2012, we completed further important steps in our transformation into a more international, dynamic and profitable group," he added.

Group finance director Jean-Marc Duplaix said luxury sales accelerated slightly in the last quarter of 2012, while adding the division reached a "record" profit margin of 26 percent driven by bumper sales at Gucci.

Shares in PPR rose 5.35 percent in morning trading on the Paris stock exchange that was mostly unchanged.